Understanding God’s Goodness

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
-Jeremiah 29:11

Have you ever clung to the goodness of God and wrapped your fingers around His promise of plans for a good and prosperous future, only to let your hope slip through your fingers in the face of disappointment or an agonizing waiting period?  I think we’ve all been there at some point.  Perhaps you are being faced with disappointment or an agonizing wait right now, and the temptation is to loosen your grip and give up.  My sweet sisters, if that is you today, please do not give up.  God is moving on your behalf and your breakthrough is coming any day now.  Keep those fingers closed and your fist clenched tight around the character and promises of God until you are white in the knuckles, because the truth is, He is taking you by the hand and leading you into victory.  You will see the goodness of the Lord in this life (see Psalm 27:13).
God led me to this verse during our struggle to conceive our first child.  He led me to surrender entirely to His will regarding becoming a mother, and in that I found great peace.  I knew that God is sovereign and that He is also good, and I clung to the promise that His plans for me were good, not for disaster.  After a period of waiting, I finally became pregnant and was over the top excited.  I was that girl who literally shouted from the mountain tops that I was going to be a mommy.  A few months into my pregnancy the baby stopped growing and I was told that I was going to lose this child.  I didn’t loosen my grip though.  I held tight to faith and hope.  After all, God had promised good, not disaster, and a miscarriage . . . well, that would be a disaster.  Weeks after praying for healing and clinging to God and His promises, I lost our baby.  I wrestled with God over these verses.  This is calamity.  This is disaster.  How could you allow me to cling to these verses of good when clearly, this is not good?  Through pouring out my heart to God and continuing to lean in to Him in search of answers to my questions, God did a miraculous work in me.  He healed my broken heart and showed me that His promise was still true in my life.  You see, in Jeremiah 29 verse 10, God tells the Israelites that they will be exiled in Babylon for 70 years, “but then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised.”  For 70 years the Israelites would face circumstances that did not seem like the “good” mentioned in the promise.  But the promise isn’t that you will never face calamity or trying circumstances.  I think the key phrase in the promise is but then.  Some hard stuff may have to happen first, but then God will come and do for you all the good things He has promised. Our hearts may break, our dreams may seem dead, we may have to wait, but then the promise is fulfilled.
Wouldn’t we love to have it our way all the time and never have to face anything bad? But would we even recognize something good if we stared it in the eye?  Sometimes it takes walking through calamity to appreciate the good things God does in our lives.  Even through the storm, God is good and His plans for us are still good.  His ways are higher than our ways, and even though we may not understand our present struggles, joy will come in the morning, He will trade beauty for these ashes, and we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  We can count on that.

Father God, I praise you for your goodness. Thank you for your Word and the truth revealed in your Word.  Lord, I lift up all of my sisters to you today, especially the ones who need a fresh glimpse of your promise for good.  I pray for the woman who is waiting for the fulfillment of a promise, who has been waiting so long that it is becoming increasingly difficult for her to cling to hope.  Father, I pray that you would comfort her and give her the perseverance she needs to wait for her breakthrough.  I pray for the woman who has come nose to nose with painful disappointment.  Would you show yourself faithful in her situation? Heal her broken heart and give her a vision for the beauty you will bring from the ashes.  Lord, no matter what we are walking through we can count on your goodness.  You are good, all the time.  We praise you and celebrate your goodness today.  O Lord, I love you so much! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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